Lest you think I’d not include men in this story, I assure you there will be. And a light bit of “romance” although I have no intentions of putting that front-and-center. It’s an intentional decision on my part. In my own life, I put my life on hold thinking I had to sort out the romance first. You know, find the man & get that all tied up with a ribbon before I could relax, enjoy the rest of my life, and pursue my own dreams.
Damn, that was stupid.
So I’m not letting my heroines fall into that trap. Romance is fine as a secondary plot, but I want their lives and struggles to take center stage. That’s not saying I’m going to wait until all the stress is done before I begin putting couples together. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my own life its that love is about two people fighting back-to-back against the rest of the world. These things don’t always have to be taken on by ourselves.
Some characters are going to have a harder time with that than others. Like George, who is completely resistant to the idea of ever getting hurt again.
So its a fine line, allowing my characters to develop their independence first, then bringing in the romantic angle. Trust needs to be built first. Friendship needs to grow. And some characters need to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. Needless to say, there’s only the foreshadowing of these things to come in this first book. There might be one complete couple by the end of the next book; possibly three. I’ll know when I get there *grin*.
Part of what I’ve done in order to delay the gratification here, is to develop male characters that could literally fit with any of the three main ladies. I absolutely hate it when its too predictable! We have choices in the paths of our lives…sometimes we make the right ones and sometimes the wrong. Eventually, we can’t go back and undo those mistakes, we simply stand where we are and make the best of things.
Although George is the oldest female, there are even several options open for her…as the men are conveniently in the age group slightly between her and Hope, and that’s just in the initial group. There are other people who live at their eventual destination, just to keep things confused. Mwuahahahaha…
Writing is often like playing God, isn’t it?
Before I get too power-happy here, let me begin introducing the male characters. I’ll start with Hans.
His first name isn’t likely to change any time soon. I named him Hans for a reason; he’s named after my own path not taken. A gentle soul I met while working at Greenpeace in my very early 20s. Don’t get to excited here…I was a canvasser (read: begged for money). I sooooo should have…and very nearly did. At that time I was in a relationship with an emotionally abusive man who was suicidally depressed. I had realized we were isolated…he hated my friends, I hated his so neither of us had any friends. I was trying to wean us off of each other by limiting our time together and developing new friendships. It was at that time I met Hans.
Things fell apart (saw that coming, did you?) and I ended up quitting Greenpeace because of a massive depression he went into, where he landed himself in the local hospital under observation. I was worried, frantic, and couldn’t concentrate anymore. I quit my job and never saw Hans again.
As always with these characters, that’s just the beginning. There’s a little of my husband in this character as well, as both the character of Hans and my hubby were in the Army. Like hubby, Hans is gifted. He sees things. Of course, he doesn’t consider himself gifted.
He’s the son of a good ole boy from Texas and an immigrant mother. Originally, the plan was to make his mom German but I have another German in there. I want to maintain ethnic and cultural diversity so I’m playing with other “Nordic” cultures. Possibly Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic…not sure. So he’s currently without a surname. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.
His mother and her sister are the only family from his maternal line in Texas. They are both brutally murdered, and the murder goes unsolved for many, many years. The rest of Hans’ family is brutally simple and primarily male. There is no room for weakness. When he starts seeing the ghosts of his mother and aunt, he goes a little nuts. The perfect solution? Join the army.
The discipline and distraction of the army belays the apparitions for awhile. But all too soon he finds himself discharged and trying to begin a new life far away from his native Texas and all those memories. But it doesn’t work. The apparitions begin again, harsher, more frequent, and he begins to lose control. He tries everything he can think of; anti-depressants, psychiatry, alcohol.
Its in this desperate, half-crazed state of mind that he crosses the threshold to George’s store.
He’s dubious but desperate. George practically drags him into her reading room to consult for him. Before the book’s even begun, they’ve forged a friendship from this. She’s helped him deal with the visions, helped discover the murderer, and even gently helped him learn how to handle his “gift.” Although he has always paid her for her services, he feels a great deal of obligation toward George, and a certain amount of love.
But then he meets Hope.
Hope is instinctively drawn to him, although she represses all such feelings. After all, she was raised a good little Christian girl…and she has a hard time dealing with concepts like “passion.” Boys weren’t her form of rebellion, after all, it was spirituality of a different type and intellectual pursuits. She’s a shy geek at heart. So although she practically foams at the mouth when Hans is around, she’ll never say or do anything to get his attention.
Personally, I don’t blame her. He is, in my mind anyway, gorgeous. And he has a reserved politeness, a chivalry you don’t find often these days. There’s a gentle wit about him, and a gallant need to defend everyone he cares about. Combined with a body built by the American miltiary (and they do build a good looking man, whatever I might feel about war) and a slight drawl…
Well, yeah, yum. 😉
Spiritually speaking, Hans is our Nordic. Not Asatruar, not reallyanythingeasily defined because he has an absolute horror of organized religion of any sort, and would never contemplate pushing his religious beliefs…or even discussing them much…with a single soul. It is the most personal of beliefs to him.
As I mentioned, the remaining family members are primarily male, good ole boys, and…you guessed it…survivalists. Which will certainly come in handy on into the book…By profession he’s a mechanic which, again, will come in particularly handy. (Ooooh,foreshadowing!)
As will his completely insane uncle and cousin who he lives with.
All things in time. I’ll get there!